Caviar, the roe or eggs from sturgeon fish, is a delicacy. It is often eaten raw as an appetizer and is considered a luxury good that can fetch high prices.
Historically, most caviar came from the Black and Caspian seas, but due to overfishing, caviar is produced around the world now.
Caviar vs. Fish Roe
All female fishes have roe because they lay eggs to produce. Humans cannot eat every kind of fish roe. Sturgeon fish are considered caviar.
Sturgeon are anadromous fish that move between saltwater and freshwater to spawn.
Although this species is native to the Caspian and Black Seas between Asia and Europe, as well as the southern Atlantic coasts of the United States and Pacific Northwest, it typically grows to more than 3,000 pounds but averages about 60 pounds.
Other popular varieties of fish roe include salmon, trout, and flying fish, which are great for decorating sushi rolls, toast, and other dishes but are not considered caviar.
Some fish roe has a similar flavor and textural characteristics to caviar, so they can be used as substitutes when needed.
Caviar lovers are among the most discerning foodies, and it’s no surprise that some of the most prized varieties come from sturgeon.
- Beluga caviar, among the biggest, rarest, and most expensive of all caviar, is typically unavailable in the United States due to overfishing and government regulations.
- But Kaluga—a variety with a similar delicate buttery flavor and texture—is also available stateside.
- Osetra tends to have a nutty, salty flavor, while sevruga has a strong flavor and pops and snaps in your mouth.
- Sterlet and sevruga are both types of caviar, but they are not the same.
- Hackleback from Mississippi river sturgeon is a type of caviar with a mild nutty flavor.
Several other varieties exist with differing characteristics: size, texture, color, and flavor.
Additionally, caviars are graded depending on their size, flavor, size, and texture of the eggs. Mainly there are 2 grades.
More expensive because it’s firm and consists of large eggs.
They are less expensive because they are less sensitive and imperfect eggs.
Beluga caviar is graded by color, with 000 being light or silver-gray, 00 medium gray, and 0 grays. The lighter color is more valued for its flavor and is, therefore, more expensive.
The rarest hue of caviar is golden caviar, which is pale off-yellow and believed to be discovered in only one in 1,000 osetra sturgeon.
Caviar can be unpasteurized or pasteurized. Pasteurization increases the shelf life and decreases the risk of food poisoning, but uncooked, raw caviar is prized for its deliciously superior flavor and texture.
How to Use Caviar?
The great way to enjoy caviar is in its purest form—alone or with minimal accompaniments. Caviar is traditionally served on a bed of ice with a caviar spoon, usually made of pearl or bone. Silver or steel utensils are avoided as they can impart a metallic flavor to caviar.
Caviar can be eaten as it is or served with crackers, toast points, or blini.
As a garnish, caviar can be added to appetizers, pasta, and other dishes. However, it is not usually cooked. Instead, it is usually added as a finishing touch to preserve its flavor.
What Does It Taste Like?
Caviar is a delicacy with a distinctive texture and flavor. Most varieties are salty, but the amount of salt in caviar varies depending on the variety.
The small eggs burst when eaten, releasing a buttery, sometimes nutty, and slightly sweet taste that lingers on the palate. Some caviar tastes briny or fishy; others are very mild.
Although they can be served alone but are also given with blini and toast points.
- Gluten-free blini
- Russian blini
- Classic toast point
Where to Buy Caviar
Caviar can be purchased in metal tins at gourmet markets or Lemberg Caviar Shop Online Lemberg.ae. It is typically priced per tin, and the price varies depending on the type of caviar and its origin.
Unlike pasteurized caviar, which must remain refrigerated, unpasteurized caviar must be kept cold because it has not been pasteurized. Ensure that any online orders will arrive quickly packed with ice packs.
When selecting caviar, it is important to consider your preferences, plans, and budget. Assistance from store associates can help make this decision.
Store unpasteurized area caviar in the coldest area of the refrigerator. An unopened tin can stay consumable for about a week, while an opened one can only be consumed for 2 to 3 days if stored tightly in the fridge.
However, pasteurized caviar can easily sit on the shelf for several months before consumption.